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7 Reasons Why You Should Build Web Apps with WordPress
Last Updated January 21st, 2022 · Web Development,WordPress
Many people come to us at Link Software with unique software ideas. We typically build custom software applications for large production facilities and professional service businesses. Projects like that typically have fairly large budgets and not everyone has an idea they are comfortable investing a lot of time and money into. In these situations, it is worth considering some low-cost and fast ways to implement your idea. One suggestion is to learn the advantages when you build web apps with WordPress.
Yes, that’s right. WordPress, the world’s most popular online publishing platform, is ideal for creating simple online applications. Let’s go through seven reasons that we think you should use WordPress to build web apps. We’re going to cover why WordPress is perfect for simple ideas, how you can save time and money, and the ways you can extend and grow your application with custom code.
Why You Should Build Web Apps with WordPress
WordPress is a really great solution for getting your web app ideas started. You can generate a minimum viable product, or MVP, very quickly and for a low cost. There are a lot of good reasons why WordPress is right for your web app. Let’s discuss seven of the most important reasons now.
#1. WordPress Is Perfect for Simple Ideas
Many web applications, at least in their initial form, are very simple. WordPress is ideal for simple ideas because you can get up and running so quickly. Consider that many web applications are mainly concerned with taking input of some kind and generating output. WordPress has an entire infrastructure in place for this exact workflow. As a content management system at heart, WordPress was built with the idea of taking in data. working with that data, and presenting it in a different format.
#2. WordPress Is Simple to Set Up
There’s a reason WordPress is the platform of choice for 40% of the websites online. Nearly every hosting provider offers one-click processes, or high-level support, for installing and running WordPress. For a very small cost, you can buy a domain name, purchase web hosting, and be working with WordPress in minutes.
One of the advantages of using WordPress for simple web applications is a lot of the technical setup is done for you. Your web hosting will be providing all of the necessary programming language and database infrastructure you will need. WordPress will take care of creating the database tables and configuration files you will need during your initial setup. You won’t need to become, or pay for, a database administrator or programming expert to handle anything for you.
#3. Basic Systems Are Already in Place
WordPress comes, out of the box, with a lot of common systems you find in most web apps. Your fresh WordPress installation will have an accounts system, a login interface, a behind-the-scenes dashboard, and a front end. You’ll have many basic interface components in place without doing any extra work. Getting these features and interfaces “for free” means you can save time, and money, focusing on the working parts of your app. You won’t have to worry about, pay for, or troubleshoot basic systems like user logins when you use WordPress as your base.
#4. WordPress Themes Work for Front Ends
How people interact with an application is a huge part of its development and success. Of course, in addition to the user experience, the visual appeal of an app is important as well. Luckily, by starting with WordPress, you put yourself at a great advantage. WordPress has one of the most robust and flexible theming systems of any content management system. You can leverage the vast amount of themes for the purposes of your web application. Many themes are free, or very low-cost, and instantly provide you with a professional look and feel to wrap around your app.
#5. Features Can Be Implemented With Plugins
There are tens of thousands of freely available WordPress plugins available at WordPress.org. You can easily implement many common features of your application using these plugins. Do you need a simple form for users to submit information? There are widely popular free options like Contact Form 7 and very versatile paid choices like Gravity Forms. There are dozens of membership plugins you can use to expand upon the basic user and login system that comes packaged with WordPress. These are just a few of the hundreds of examples where plugins exist to handle many common software application needs.
Can’t find what you want from the available free and premium plugins? Write your own! You can have a software firm or freelancer who specializes in custom WordPress development make a plugin that handles your unique feature needs. You can solve many simple problems with an equally simple WordPress plugin. Custom plugins can be made to tweak existing themes or plugins that aren’t 100% perfect. Or, if you have more complicated feature needs, a custom WordPress plugin can be made in a faster timeframe than traditional software by taking advantage of WordPress and its expansive codebase.
#6. Simple to Integrate With Other Services
WordPress has several ways that make it simple to connect its data with other apps and services. The WordPress REST API is one available tool that makes data exchange possible. An API, in short, is a way for two applications to connect and exchange information. In addition to the API, you can use popular services like Zapier to connect to WordPress and then pass data back and forth between all sorts of other applications.
Leveraging the API and services like Zapier will allow you to really expand on your web app idea. Features that might seem impossible, or certainly costly, might be trivial with the right third-party integration. You don’t have to have these integrations made on your own as well if Zapier isn’t a workable route. Many WordPress plugins natively integrate with all kinds of service providers and applications. It depends on what you want your web app to do, of course, but there might already be quick solutions out there to connect your app with another.
#7. Easier Transition to Your Own Custom Application
Finally, one of the nice advantages of using WordPress as the base of an application is you are in total control of the data. This is helpful when you decide to rebuild your application in a more traditional way with custom software. Having ownership of your data, via the WordPress database, will make it much simpler to transition to a new infrastructure.
Third-party no-code builders and similar services are often walled gardens. You don’t have easy access to your application’s data if you decide to pivot to something more advanced. This isn’t a concern with WordPress because you will be the one who owns, and maintains, the back-end of your WordPress installation. You will not have to rely on another service provider, or a support team, to get you access to your current app’s dataset and details.
Want to Learn More About Making Web Apps With WordPress?
We recommend you consider using WordPress as a foundation for experimental software ideas. The cost to start development, and ultimately launch your applications, is much lower than custom development. In terms of time to build, WordPress and its built-in feature set make the turnaround time much faster than starting from scratch. The plugin ecosystem surrounding WordPress means you can snap in features in minutes. WordPress themes allow you to have a well-designed front end for your application just as easily.
Contact us at Link Software if you’d like to learn more about how you can utilize WordPress to build out your application idea. We can help you with the initial setup, plugin and theme installation, and any small custom plugin work that your application might need. And, if your idea proves successful, we can also help you transition to a more traditional web application when the time is right.